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Opinion

The FFA Cup is where Australia's past meets its present

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Roar Guru
9th July, 2021
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The FFA Cup round-of-32 draw has paired together relics of Australian football’s historic past with current A-League sides.

Former NSL champions South Melbourne will host A-League title holders Melbourne City in a blockbuster tie.

It is one of several mouth-watering matches that involves previous Australian glamour clubs against A-League opposition.

South Melbourne have struggled this season for goals in the VIC NPL but there is still enough quality in Harrison Sawyer, Marco Jankovic and Daniel Clarke plus the likelihood of a 10,000-plus crowd to make life difficult for the club with endless financial backing, Melbourne City.

Sydney Olympic, another trophy-laden NSL club, will host the A-League’s most successful outfit, Sydney FC.

Olympic are preciously sitting in the mid-table logjam that is engulfing the NSW NPL. They do however have some very talented players in Mohamed Adam, Jason Madonis and the tough-tackling Brendan Cholakian that could make life difficult for their cross-town A-League counterpart.

Adam Le Fondre celebrates.

(Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

One all-A-League round-of-32 FFA Cup match is guaranteed, with Wellington Phoenix to meet either the Newcastle Jets or Western United, who meet each other next month in an FFA Cup qualifier after finishing in the bottom four of the recently completed A-League season.

The other FFA Cup qualifier is between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory, with the winner of that match to travel to South Australia to meet another ex-NSL championship-winning club, Adelaide City.

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City currently lead the SA NPL with the talented Aladin Irabona attracting interest from A-League scouts and dead-ball specialist Nicholas Bucco running the midfield.

FFA Cup holders Adelaide United will have a tricky trip to Western Australia to meet NPL club Floreat Athena.

Athena is celebrating their 70th anniversary as a club and they are the current leaders in the WA NPL and they will be very dangerous to Adelaide’s vulnerable defence with the enigmatic Christopher Salderis and Jawad Rezai up top.

In terms of other potential upsets, the Central Coast Mariners will have their work cut out against Blacktown City.

City are sitting pretty in position number one in the NSW PL. They are the highest scoring team with Travis Major in contention for the top-scorer award and they have a good supporting cast with the likes of Mario Shabow and Lachlan Campbell.

Western Sydney Wanderers travel to the NNSW PL top side Broadmeadow Magic. Magic are currently scoring goals for fun and are very resolute in defence.

Bruce Kamau of the Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The Wanderers would be wise to not take this team lightly, especially when it consists of the in-form James Virgili, Mitchell Oxenborro and John Majurovski.

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Brisbane Roar have perhaps the toughest assignment out of any A-League club this round, being drawn against QLD NPL leader and the best NPL team in the country, Pennisula Power.

The Power possesses the goal-scoring abilities of Andy Pengally, who is not only the highest scoring player in the QLD NPL, but of any NPL side nationally with 19 goals already this season.

They are a side that is averaging more than three goals a game while conceding barely one every two matches played and Pengally has a good supporting cast around him with Joshua Woodley, Sam Cronin and Brenton Fox.

Teams in the round of 32 have been divided into four zones due to border restrictions from COVID.

The winner of this year’s FFA Cup will have the chance to qualify for the 2022 AFC Champions League.

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FFA Cup Round of 32 draw

Zone 1
Sydney Olympic versus Sydney FC
Broadmeadow Magic versus Western Sydney Wanderers
Tigers FC versus Apia Leichhardt
Blacktown City versus Central Coast Mariners
Mt Druitt Town Rangers versus Wollongong Wolves
Newcastle Olympic versus Macarthur FC

Zone 2
Lions FC versus Casuarina FC
Edge Hill United versus Gold Coast Knights
Peninsula Power versus Brisbane Roar

Zone 3
Newcastle Jets/Western United versus Wellington Phoenix
Avondale FC versus Devonport City
Hume City versus Port Melbourne
South Melbourne versus Melbourne City

Zone 4
ECU Joondalup versus Adelaide Olympic
Adelaide City versus Perth Glory/Melbourne Victory
Floreat Athena versus Adelaide United

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